November 15, 2013

Electric-Drive-Vehicle Research at the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation

Time

Friday, 1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location

1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village

Speaker(s)

Dr. Brett Williams, Electric Vehicles & Alternative Fuels Program Director, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation / Assistant Adjunct Professor of Public Policy

Abstract

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This seminar will provide an overview and selected discussion of electric-vehicle research activities at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Luskin Center for Innovation.  These include:

  • The secondary use of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) batteries (both for vehicle-to-grid power and post-vehicle repurposing into stationary energy-storage appliances to provide valuable grid-support services);
  • PEV regional readiness planning (conducted as the research contractor for the 6-county Los Angeles region as part of a state and federally funded project);
  • The economics of workplace and multi-unit dwelling PEV charging for station operators and drivers;
  • PEV market dynamics (including analysis of up-to-date sales data for PEVs in the U.S. and California); and
  • A survey of new-car buyers about PEV preferences

Among other lessons, these activities inform policymakers and strategic planners about: PEV adoption, charging infrastructure location and financial viability, and innovative new value streams that may help lower the costs of PEVs and energy storage.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Williams is the EV & Alt. Fuel Initiative Director at the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Public Policy. At UCLA Luskin he is engaged in regional plug-in-electric-vehicle (PEV) readiness planning, assessing the challenges of charging at workplaces and in multi-unit dwellings, tracking PEV sales and expected supply, and comparing vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and repurposed PEV battery-to-grid (B2G) approaches to providing grid-support, energy-storage services.

Most recently a senior EV and energy researcher at UC Berkeley, he 1) explored electric-fuel implementation with the California Energy Commission, 2) analyzed the energy and GHG impacts of real-world, household use of plug-in and fuel-cell vehicles with Toyota, and 3) investigated PEV battery secondary use.

He received a Ph.D. in Transportation Technology & Policy from UC Davis exploring early market development for plug-in/plug-out hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles and vehicle-to-grid power. While at UC Davis, he taught graduate and undergraduate courses, earned a business-development certificate from the Graduate School of Management, worked for Ford, and received NSF IGERT, DOE GATE, UC Transportation Center, and Eno Foundation fellowships.

Previously, he was a senior analyst for Amory Lovins at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit think-tank. There he helped spin off Hypercar, Inc. (now Fiberforge), consulted for automotive and energy firms, and joined the delegation to the 1999 G8 Environmental Futures Summit.